You know that old saying about the "elephant in the room"? The thing on everyone's mind but not being mentioned?
In Governor Schwarzenegger's hastily arranged budget news conference, the elephant in the room... was the elephant-logoed party members who sit upstairs in the state Capitol, refusing to budge on a tax increase.
One way to gauge the icy nature of the governor's demeanor, consider the following Harper's-inspired factoid.
Number of times Schwarzenegger mentioned the name of dethroned Senate GOP leader Dave Cogdill: 3.
Times he mentioned the new guy, Senate GOP Leader Dennis Hollingsworth: 1.
In fact, the guv waxed poetically about the ex-guy, going so far as to saying Cogdill, in agreeing to the $41 billion cuts/taxes/borrowing plan, "did what was right for the people."
"Maybe not," obliquely jabbed Schwarzenegger, "what was right for politics, or what was right for the special interests... I have the highest respect for him."
And in what will surely become a Schwarzenegger classic... a direct jab... the guv had a message for Republicans who won't support some kind of tax increase to solve the state budget deficit:
"If you think you can do this budget without any increase in revenues," he said, "then you have a big math problem." And he wasn't finished there: "Anyone that runs around and says this can be done without raising taxes, I think has not really looked at it carefully to understand this budget, or has a math problem and has to go back, as I said, and take Math 101."
Finally, this comment on his willingness to consider the ideas of both GOP senators now being courted as the final vote (except has been edited for clarity with my follow-up question, not content):